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Charge and Current

1 Electric currentis the rate of flow of electric charge. No current can flow if the circuit is broken — for example, when a switch is open.

2 An electric current flows when electrons move through a conductor, such as a metalwire. Metals are good conductors of electricity.

3 Electricity passes through metallic conductors as a flow of negatively charged electrons. The electrons are free to move from one atom to another. We call them a sea of delocalised electrons.

4 Current was originally defined as the flow of charges from positive to negative. Scientists later discovered that current is actually the flow of negatively charged electrons, from negative to positive. They termed the original definition ‘conventional current’ so as not to confuse it with the newer definition of current.

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Zhakupov Nursultan

Physics teacher in Nazarbayev Intellectual school, Pavlodar.

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